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Washington Journal

News/Business. Live morning call-in program with government officials, political leaders, and journalists.

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Irs 36, Washington 24, The Irs 20, Us 20, U.s. 18, Bangladesh 13, David Jackson 11, United States 9, America 9, Europe 7, Michael Beckel 7, Florida 6, Nixon 6, Michigan 6, Mr. Miller 5, Steven Miller 5, California 5, Maryland 4, Carter 4, Mr. Jackson 4,
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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Live morning call-in program with  
   government officials, political leaders, and journalists.  

    May 18, 2013
    7:00 - 10:01am EDT  

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and later, the executive director of the workers' rights consortium. "washington journal" host: hearing shows obama administration officials were june 2012 about the two- party region about the tea party targeting. -- about the tea party targeting. we are going to be talking about yesterday's hearing. testimony from the outgoing acting irs commissioner as well as the treasury inspector general for tax of ministration. but want to see your thoughts of what you saw, hrd, and readabour
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hearings coming up regarding this case. you can also reach out by a social media. more from the path front page of wall streetg's " journal," they write --
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we want to hear what you have to say about this story and the coverage of yesterday's hearing. lindarst call comes from in columbus, ohio on our line for democrats. you are on "washington journal." caller: this is double down dumbing of the republican party. we should be grateful to the irs. anyone who has the name "tea
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party: t-notes political. party" denotes political. amm sick of the tea party, i sick of what they stand for, and we should be grateful to the irs for what they have done. they needed help. they shorted the people power there because of republicans. that is one way of singling out giving money for political views. dan from us move on to jacksonville florida. you are on "washington journal." i think regardless of
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party lines and partisan issues , we need find those responsible clean." and say, "come there should be people terminated for this. it is appalling and should never have happened in any case. i believe the ones that actually happens there will be people that come forward under the irs department under this particular .incinnati branch or division would act like it down to the bottom of the truth from where the problem starts. this is not as far up at the white house as
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president obama or any of his administration sitting on the cabinet. jacksonville florida, we will be talking about the historical relationship between the white house and the irs. first of want to show you a little bit of what happened at yes to the's house ways and means hearing. we're going to show you the opening statement of ways and means chairman, a republican from michigan, where he criticizes the obama administration for not disclosing that the irs is targeting conservative groups. [video clip] >> this appears to be the latest example of cover-ups and political and it did give the political intimidation. it seems at the truth is hidden from the american people just long enough to make it through an election. the american people have the right to the truth. a government to delivers the fax good or bad the matter what. president obama promised to deliver a different government, theost ansparen right, america s
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better. it is time to end the corruption that the irs and fix the tax code that allows washington and the irs to pick who wins and who loses in america. host: we're talking about the irs case. it was discussed yesterday in front of the house ways and means committee. this is what the lead article in this morning's "wall street journal" has to say -- back to the phones, dorothy
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calling on our line for independence, -- for independents, calling from baltimore, maryland. caller: what the irs did is wrong if they were targeting people. what i would also like to say is if the republicans believe that we would have voted differently because the irs did something than they are fooling themselves. what i'm tryign to say is that maey said the obama administration knew about the probe. they didn't order the irs to do this. ndal here.o scaada
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not chargedans have anybody with anything they have done, fast and furious, benghazi. if they found somebody guilty then i can say the pope's were necessary, they have not found anybody guilty. a wastefoolishness and of taxpayer money and time. host: we are going to move on to juanita from cincinnati, ohio. wanted too things i say. town, theyfice down are really pressed because they serve a 19 county area in addition to all of the things they have to do. with the ruling of the (c)
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qualify forr to have tom you exclusively be a not-for-profit organization. theas changed in 1959 under eisenhower administration. the word was changed to and it gave irs administrators room to make judgments. think the best thing to do is go back to the original 1951 law and stick to the word "exclusively" as it was written. let our want to
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viewers and listeners know that we will be talking more about (c)4 with david jackson. we will also get some information about what it is, and some of)4 is the other aspects of the income tax code. foris on the line republicans. radio talk show host here in cincinnati. apparently there is a synonymous relationship between the tea party and the kkk. cannots me that we
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really trust the irs with our health care. that really means we need to take a relative look at where we are heading right now. -- : we have got a tweet do you believe the president was personally involved? caller: i think the president should be able to tell what he knew and when did he know it. i think he did know and some of his people in his administration might have known what was going on. this did not happen overnight. host: thank you for your call. on facebook we have a conversation going on --
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back to the phones in north providence, rhode island on our line for independents -- we have jim. caller: good morning. i think you guys do a great job with your show. the extent that you listen to a lot of different folks and a lot of different perspectives --
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i come from a place and a local high school where we have a very strong representation in washington with some very good folks. have tommy don lund, head of brother has worked with the vice president. i have been watching with interest this coverage about the internal revenue and how they have been handling these matters. host: are you a teacher in north providence? not a: and the -- teacher, i am an old classmate of some of these guys. they do in exceptional job of everything that goes on with our government. where thebe moments nation as a whole question is what goes on.
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i think the presidential administration and the folks on an show are really doing exceptional job. i listen because of your good station and coverage that this gentleman, mr. miller, answering the questions for congress. host: did you watch any of the hearing as today? caller: i certainly did. host: what the do think about the testimony of the witnesses and the questions of the caller: members i think it is a good example of why our government is better than any other government in the rest of the world. some of the stuff from the republicans -- i am the grandson of a state senator from rhode island and he always said to me -- he was a guy who came from
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scotland. when i was a young man he said the reason our government is so the bigthat we get government or we deserve, not the one we are supposed to have. i looked at questions from both sides of the aisle and clearly there were things that went wrong here. askinglike people were the right questions and even -- he and theler people doing the audit were stepping right up. how ourn example of government works. host: outgoing acting irs commissioner steven miller was questioned yesterday in front of the house ways and means committee. representative joseph crowley responded to german camps
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opening statement -- chairman camp's opening statement. [video clip] >> i would daresay in the prior administration by mr. shulman and mr. emerson that there was targeting of political entities as well. that past and on both sides. the president has been very forthright and -- very forthright in strongly condemning that kind of action. the chairman and my colleagues, let us get the answers. we can draw our own conclusions. host: we are talking about the ira's case. it was the subject of the house ways and means hearing yesterday on capitol hill. another headline from "the wall
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will read you a puppet of that in eight seconds. gene from detroit, miss it can -- rom detroit, michigan caller: this seems people ignore the fact that the irs latta says -- the irs law says no -- the 501(c)4 should be exclusively for social programs. it was under eisenhower that one of the commissioners of changed the ruling to "primarily." tea party nor any political party should receive -- should not receive 501(c)4.
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are they a social program or its political agenda they are pushing forward? of the members of the tea party say they are not pol, tcat they socia they do not support candidates but they are trying to keep taxes lower and keep an eye on government spending. caller: they are marching on t d, holding signs and painting president obama as somebody from out of this country. that is not allowed. under president bush -- host: suzanne in massachusetts
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on our line for republicans. go ahead caller: good morning. person -- nothe one should be getting these exemptions no matter what side of the line you are standing on. republicanss that are being targeted. i have been an independent for 40 years. i became a republican this year for the first time. i voted back and forth and try to vote for the right person. it did appear that my views were so close to you -- so closely connected to the republicans, that is why i changed. the reason i called this because there are many areas -- if you go on line and read pro- republica and sign up for a
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subscription like that you can .e put on a list there are many people who are applying for these tax-exempt statuses that are quite liberal as well. i watched c-span and they mentioned several organizations, ine had the name "obama" them. i do agree that no one should be getting them. not be losing the freedom to go online and may be read a paper that has views that are quite right wing. most people should be reading all kinds papers. that is what i try to do. i read a lot of right-wing stuff. i try to read a lot of liberal stuff. i watched c-span. i do not regurgitate other people's opinions.
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i try to realize different things and come up with my own. they have been targeting people and i think everyone should be aware of that. more from the article in "the wall street journal" -- back to the phones, shelley in
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clearwater, florida on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. i thought it was a great opportunity for president obama to weed out the people that are obviously showing their character. he needs to throw out the pebbles and keeps the tools. -- keep the jewels. their minds in dolt in private prejudices. that is what this sounds like, they are targeting people. i am very concerned about it and i appreciate you letting me express my opinion. "new in this morning's york post," they have this headline. does it concern you that they
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were looking at activities in the irs office during the presidential campaign? >> it concerns me very much. i think could leaders meet to make the mind of the community the mind of their own. you cannot reward your enemies -- you cannot reward your friends and punish or enemies. this is the united states, we are all equal here. we have to make the community the mind of our own. host: linda in kentucky on our line for republicans. go ahead. hearings watched the yesterday and i felt like mr. miller he evaded all the questions. he was very -- host: a thing we lost linda.
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let us move to roy from north carolina. you are on "washington journal." the best.u are one of host: that is kind of you to say. did you have a chance to see the hearing is today? caller: i am afraid i did see some of it. what a waste of government time. what is worse is that it seems isme that the american media going along once again the republican's red herrings and smokescreens. this happened in 2011, didn't it? they are bringing it up now? we are not allowed to ask their holy majesty the tea party questions? is supposed to be a social welfare organization. we cannot know where the money comes from, we cannot know where
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the money goes to. it is weird they are bringing this up now with all of these investigations going on. i think they have a guilty conscience, i think they have something to do with the boston marathon bombing, i think they had something to do with benghazi. this is a fascist organization from the get go. if they are asked questions by the irs -- i never had more than five employees. i was audited once and i found that i could take a big room off for my office. it saved me $3,000 per year the first year and about 1500 afterward. has had to have tax collecting agency. our tax collecting agency, the irs, historically has been good for this country. andnce stopped al capone the gangsters.
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let me get your thoughts on this tweet friedrich -- tweet -- caller: all the other big brown church organizations in america -- america is on the verge of a nazi takeover. this isn't their last throws. it is always under the surface. there was a push to try to assassinate fdr and those boys gave us a slap on the wrist. we are letting these boys get carried away. let always say "live and live." host: the headline in this morning's "arizona republic," --
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herbert in colombia, south carolina is on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. obama got elected -- before he got elected he had the tea baggers come down there with guns and weapons. all the what to do is not pay their taxes. everybody is supposed be investigated if you do not want to pay taxes. this is a big scheme not to pay taxes. quit crying all the time about this and that. host: think they prefer to be partiers."
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your thoughts about that? caller: it is one big scheme because they hate the president. since he ran for president -- what of the president has been treated like this? host: we will move on to land in east point, michigan on our line -- of all ofam sad
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people calling and the u.s. a republican or democratic thing. this should be about the people. that is what i was raised with. if there is something going on in our government that needs to be investigated the dick host: what you think would be fair and just? caller: i think a gathering interest to everything going on, no matter what it is. i think we just come as americans, deserve the truth. -- i think we just, as americans, deserve the truth. host: what you think about this whol ande investigation? we did this whole investigation? would be think it prudent that we take a look at everyone that was put into this, whether it be a democratic or republican. there are 300 groups or so that were investigated or held back.
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i think that no matter what they stood for there should be an explanation as to why. of the whichever i feel i issue. on theallebs, you are washington journal. caller: i was just watching the coverage of steve miller answering those questions from the irs. i was quite displeased from those answers. i thought he was very dodgy with how he was answering them. the thing as an american citizen i deserve a right to know who was responsible for this. if our president did know about this and that he had climbed to
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read it sooner than he had claimed to -- know about this sooner than he claims to. i believe we should know who was involved. at least the american people have a right to decide for themselves. believeepublican if i republicans are best suited to my needs. denver post" this morning -- do you think there was any malice intended by the irs? caller: i think they were definitely pushing the liberal view by not allowing the tea party -- whether their view is outrageous or not -- i think they should be able to present their cue from the american people to see as well as the liberals. i think both views should be presented so the american people
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can decide. in "the new york times" this morning --
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back to the phones, jackie in memphis, tennessee online for democrats. you are on "washington journal please do not caught me off. i was a former staff sergeant in the marine corps. about theo talk party grandstanding. steve miller stood up there as a man and said, "i am not plan to let you guys -- i am not going to let you guys disrespect me." we are poor, we are trying to make it the best way we can. they are cutting everything that they are standing up there grandstanding about what happened with the irs when 5000
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applications are coming in from all of these tea party people. we have got to wake up. we have to start standing together. i like white people, i like it or we can, i like black people as well. -- i like twitter rican people, i like black people as well. you: before let you go mention sexual assault in the military and i wanted to get your thoughts on this. this is in "the washington pos' what is your thought on that? caller: i absolutely want them
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to take it out of the commanding officers hands. as a staff sergeant i had no one to turn to and i feel it is time. this battery sergeant that i worked for, he was a master sergeant, he was sexually harassing my girls constantly and they were coming to me crying. i am trying to get something done with them. i got booted out. life in 10 years of my the military in order to get to the rank that i was and i could not help anybody. he had a purple heart. out of theo take it commanding officer's hands. is jim in up batteries, louisiana. -- in batted rouge, louisiana. your thoughts on what is going on in the irs? caller: i think they're very
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good hearings. they uncovered quite a bit. they still have a lot to go. as far as obama he sounds like the sergeant on hogan's zeros, heroes," on "hogan's "i know nothing." ranking member sander levin, democrat from michigan, repeats his call for the designation of the lowest learner -- for the designation of los learner. [video clip] >> she failed to disclose what she knew to this committee, ada ing instead to do and ad
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conference two days later. one of the reasons we believe she should be relieved of her duties -- host: that is the ranking member of the house ways and means committee, talking about lois lerner. she will be one of the witnesses at a hearing. she is seen here on the left in blue. she will be one of the witnesses next wednesday in front of the house oversight and government reform committee, chaired by the republican from california. witnesses are the ticket -- are the deputy secretary of the treasury, inspector general for tax administration at the department of the treasury, and douglas shulman, former
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coissioner of the irs. week the hearings next senate finance committee has a hearing on tuesday and the witnesses there are scheduled to be steven miller, the outgoing ,cting commissioner at the irs mr. geroge from the inspector general's office -- mr. george from the inspector general's office. .t will be covered by c-span you can get more details on monday. sandy from youngstown, ohio. you are on washington journal, go ahead. iller: about steven miller, think he defeated a lot of the questions. the. they did a lot of questions. i do not think the tea party should be targeted because
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progressive groups were not given the ok. "the wall street journal" this morning they are talking about some of steven miller's testimony. they write -- what are your thoughts about what he testified? caller: that is an outright lie. they gave all of the progressive groups the ok. six democratic senators who told the irs to investigate the tea party
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people. i want this thing from a lady in charge of my health care? ofthis ingram lady in charge my health care? i do not think so. she should be fired. host: christopher from new york, on our line for democrats, you are on washington journal. caller: i am here. host: go ahead. caller: my comment is that the republicans are getting exactly what they wanted to. to defund the government and shrink the actuallyt so they stopped putting money into the government and wait for the government to just screw up because of lack of funding. they are getting exactly what
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they wanted, which is a dysfunctional government that they can blame on somebody else. comments, gony right ahead or i will take the comments of the air. friday in los angeles on our line for republicans. you are on "washington journal." hello? i cannot believe the audacity. even more so with the liberal colors of your show. this is a horrible crime. we have a government agency using their power to suppress a political opinion and political group of that opinion. everybody should be outraged. i was outraged when richard nixon did his abuses. forard nixon used the irs his political opponents.
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stop being hypocrites. if you truly believe in equality, if you truly believe in fairness and fair play you should be outraged by this yourself. we have a president who opt and riddick bowe who promised us an open administration -- who promised us an open administration. host: we have another headline "rom "the wall street journal this morning -- they have both been interviewed by the white house. latestwant to see the from the current director of the fbi, he was at a senate appropriations committee hearing on thursday, talking about fbi oversight. you can find that on our video
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library. mark from florida on our line for independents. you are on "washington journal c-span.." caller: i am just a dumb old truck driver and i cannot that somebody cannot get a name. somebody in the office signed off on all of these things. those things trickle-down. it should say if it was politically inspired. it was not political. host: mark in florida. in the economy and business section of this morning's "washington post," --
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we want to remind our viewers and listeners will be talking about the situation in bangladesh and the light of the factory collapsed and overseas working conditions later in this edition of "washington journal." our next caller comes from david in flint, michigan on our line for democrats. caller: i am enjoying the program. i wish the republicans would focus on jobs america. why isn't anybody doing an investigation on jobs and why are all of our jobs going overseas? this is a portent -- this is important. it is a waste of taxpayer money. the irs is doing the job. i have to pay back money like everyone else has to pay back. we keep our mouths shut and go on. i want our country to move forward, for more people to be working in my town. that is what i am worried about. host: david in flint michigan.
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thank you to everybody who participated in this first segment of the washington journal. i want to let you know about what is coming up on the program. we are going to continue our look at the irs with michael beckel with the center for public integrity. later in the program usa today's white house correspondent david jackson will talk about the long history between the irs and several american presidents. tv" and end long "book t will bean history tv" featuring our columbia offerings together in a block, including a look at home of the nation's 28 president as we learn about his background and politics. born in stanton, virginia.
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he moved with his family here in 1870. >> he was a novelty. he had been a college professor. nobody thought he was going to be much of the governor. within a couple of years he became governor. it was a national movement for reform. wilson pushed through a number of reforms in new jersey. people cannot expect him to be able to do that. it was very effective and it gave him a national, since -- a national prominence. congress drafted legislation, voted, and the president was simply to carry out the legislation. role as their executors' and state leadership
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roles. and20th century came along give your roosevelt -- and theodore roosevelt and others were thinking more broadly about challenges. they did not sit back and do nothing more as a critic do nothing more than the executor of congress possible. this started to be more poor -- they started to be more forceful. why take the risks? is it for fun and adventure? no. is it for the money? there are certainly easier ways of making money than this. we do to understand the world and how it changes. the world tends to move like the earth's plates. tensions build and then they snap with violent political change and we go to where the cracks are to see how the plates are fitting together. .e do this so innocents have
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because this is what we want to do with our slice of time on the planets. newsehard engel from the um journalists memorial rededication. "book tv,"eekend on lanny davis on handling scandals. fordresident gerald remembers dwight eisenhower from his perspective. that is sunday at 3. journal"ngton continues. tot: michael beckel is here
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continue our discussion about the situation over at the irs. the headline in this morning's "washington post," -- your thoughts about what came out against a possible ways and means hearing. guest: thank you for having me here. yes today was definitely a day of bipartisan theory on capitol hill. both democrats and republicans are really going after the republicans -- going after the irs yesterday. host: this headline in "the financial times" is emblematic of what we have seen -- does that come as a surprise to you? guest: that poses a question, when exactly did higher-ups' in the chain of command know what was going on?
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which of these groups were political? which ones deserve special attention? later somebody up the chain of command knows what is going on and there are a lot of questions still about who, what, when? host: there's an editorial in this morning's "wall stree t journal," -- about thatu think when he said that? the center for integrity has been monitoring these 501 while.oups fioor a reception 527 for political committees. one of the big questions the irs
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is asking is are these committees and organizations that are applying to less to political? if they are they should register under section 527 to social welfare organizations and charities are not supposed to be shadow political parties. they are supposed the shatt a political action committees or candidate committees. they are supposed to exist for the advancement of social welfare. they are allowed to do lobbying. they are allowed to express advocacy. but there must be a limited amount of their budget and time and resources and the irs is also asking whether or not these groups are set up for private benefit. they do not want a charity to be masquerading as a tax-exempt organization when it is not benefiting the general public but a private entity. host: to help our audience understand this more we have some information regarding
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501(c)4. they do not have to pay taxes on their revenue nor publicly disclose donors and typically said the leagues, social welfare groups, or local associations . some examples include the nra or the sierra club. does the tea party fit in with this group? examplehose are great its of what 501(c)4's are. it is like the colonoscope or the rotary. there have been incentives that have been changed in politically non-active nonprofits in the wake of u.s. supreme court decisions. those incentives have helped the groups become more politically active as we have seen a larger number of groups getting into
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getting into the foray. and a maroon it did -- it is a means to stay in politics game. it is important to remember that the organizations that are out code, nder the 501(c)4 whether you are a republican or democrat you have issues that are near and dear to your heart. most of those organizations exist with a 501 at the space 501(c)3. it is a lobbying arm of an organization. host: the applications for 501 from 15 at 91se
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to 3398. to 3398.591 if you want to get involved in the conversation we will put the numbers up on the screen for you. we are going to take this call from james on our line for democrats to get -- for democrats. strange thatems the congress is so upset over this irs thing right now. it is ridiculous. they did this to the liberals and there was not a word said.
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all of a sudden it is a big scandal. what really upsets me is the guys that are sitting up there asking the questions are the biggest hypocrite of all. they are sitting there doing absolutely nothing. the irs acted within the law. the irs did not go outside of the law to target these groups. your response? guest: congress has the ability to make and ship the lot. one of the points raised in the report was some of the ambiguity that is at play when they're theng to figure out if organization might be political or set up too much for the private benefit.
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saw republicans and democrats both going after the ira's and both parties seem concerned about this. host: does there seem to be any movement towards legislation that would more define these various status? guest: we have heard a lot of tax in recent years in the reform community and campaign finance reform community that there are big issues out there that they think deserve levels of advancement. we are waiting to see what will come from this particular situation. host: next up is daniel on airline for republicans in north carolina. go ahead. was watching the hearings last night. i am a young guy who doesn't with politics and i am very disheartened to see interests were not given last night.
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host: give me an example of a question where you do not think an answer was clear. it isn't clear fact that congressmen from both aisles steventhat last time the miller testified on the fact -- all that weed are given is, "i told the truth." leaks hearing contrary from the news is organizations. i was this done by -- i appreciate mr. kelly's statement to the irs
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commissioner, mr. smith. host: there was some exasperation expressed by some of the members given the fact that mr. steven miller had been up on the health several weeks ago talking about irs oversight, going through what they had done during the latest tax season and there was no mention of this situation coming out of cincinnati. guest: to question a lot of people still have is to, what, when, and why were you not telling us more about it. this is the first of many hearings that is going to be held on this topic. house andve both the the senate trying to press for more answers. int: next up is lee middelburg, florida on our line for independents. you are on "washington journal." good morning. i wanted to say a couple of
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things. a snake in your house you do not cut the tail off. is go for the head, that where the poisonous. there seems to be an amnesia cloud hanging over washington dc. i would like to see jail time for some of these people. i also think the president obama is the number one example of why delved into never affirmative action. indicationere any that anyone will be going to jail over this? any criminal investigation? guest: 1 of the points in the inspector general's report is
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that this started in cincinnati. they are coming up with these buzzwords that are used as a shorthand for which groups deserved extra scrutiny. so far we have not you did see last week when the speaker made his first comments. he was asking who was going to jail for that, so that is what i think will continue to hear. host: you mentioned this was the first of several hearings, and next week there are two hearings on tuesday, the senate finance committee will take up this issue and then on wednesday, the house of government reform committee will also take a look at this. is thethe witnesses director of the organization division at the irs. who is lois lerner?
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guest: she has been at the heart of this because she works in the tax exempt division of the irs. it has got about 900 people who exemptking on the tax organization application process figuring out if they merit tax exemption and going to the steps associated with that. she has come from the federal election commission and she worked there for a number of years and transferred over into the irs. she is a lawyer who has been very involved with this. it was her comments at the merc and bar association that broke hadnews, the fact there been this targeting of conservative and departing -- tea party organizations. host: our next call for michael --kel comes from jane's
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james in pennsylvania. caller: glad to be on this morning. it is a great thing that michael is with us today, because he has -- is offering truth to the situation. i am making light of yesterday's hearing. i am cynical, but in today's world, you have to find a way to stay sane if you want to make an attempt to understand what is happening in the political world. played a comedy routine, i can't wait until the politicians deal with him. i think it is a serious matter, but the talking points are the will show usckel another side to the story. points that speak
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to the truth. , james.anks he mentioned the former commissioner of the iraq that will be at both of the hearings on tuesday and wednesday. -- irs. explain his role in this. caller: -- guest: i want to thank the caller. mr. shulman was appointed by former president bush. the irs is full of civil servants. they are generally not politically appointed. the director of the irs is appointed and mr. shulman was in a leadership role, people are very interested to see what he has to say on the subject. host: this project started before he moved on and was acting comss?
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guest: that is exactly right. -- phoenixix event arizona, independent line. host: your question or comment? caller: i watched the whole thatng, and the questions the congressmen were reading werethat were -- people applying to these are whatever they are, they were really pretty insane. i mean, send us all your e- mails, webpages, i just thought it was ridiculous. the commissioner was so arrogant. i don't know why he should go to prison. a fulloing to get retirement package, i think that is really insane. guest: one of the things that we saw mr. miller apologize for
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yesterday was horrible customer service. many cases, organizations have applied and have waited not just weeks or months, but in some cases years to figure out if they are receiving tax-exempt status. as part of the process, they have had to fork over also to of information. people complained about needing lists orp donor answer questions whether they knew a local activist or answer questions whether they knew in the body in their organization ever planned to run for office or previously run for office. one group said give copies of all things they have distributed to members. they had a book club surveys and then copies of books there were reading. they said this is what we're doing and we are trying to comply with this. totook literally years resolve sunday's cases and in many cases, their unresolved.
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-- some of these cases. the other point, it was not necessarily a mistake on the part of the irs to ask him these questions. sometimes it is relevant to know if there is a donor may bed, if that person is also getting a contract. the role in this is trying to ferret out whether there is a social welfare primary purpose means of a public advocacy work going to be to private or if it is going to be too political. sometimes they have asked for the information but mr. miller apologized for making that step -- inappropriate step in the application process. host: during the ways and means hearing, paul ryan who also
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chairs the house budget committee had a chance to question the commissioner steve miller and made mentioned that he thought that miller was misleading congress in his previous testimony. the law governing how you must respond to congressional inquiries requires you to tell not only the truth, but to tell the whole truth. you quote cannot conceal or cover up by any trick, scheme or .evice or material fact how was that not misleading this committee? you knew targeting was taking place. a minuteacknowledged ago they were outrageous and when you were asked about this after you were briefed about this, that was the answer you gave us? how can we not conclude you misled this committee? >> that was about questions, sir. mislead the committee.
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i scan my answer then and i stand by it now. michael beckel of the center for public integrity. do you think stephen miller misled the congress? guest: that is a question a lot of people are still trying to figure out as we look at the chain of events. we know the started in 2010, but the interior -- that the criteria was in place for 18 months where people were trying to do the job they had in front of them. we looked at the surge in applications and it does come at a time where there are fewer staff members that are working in the division. one of the things the report commented on is that many of these organizations that were with buzznd profiled words would have deserved scrutiny even if a more robust
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approach would've been used. some were inappropriately delayed and some of them that went through the process with more expediency should have been flagged. i think a lot of people are waiting for more answers on the topic. , our back to the phones conversation with michael beckel, the center for public integrity. , democrat line. caller: hi, can you hear me ok? host: i sure can. caller: what i want to talk about was i grew up in the if this ends, and -- ashighest white house high as the white house, it would be interesting to know exactly when the white house knew the information and how deeply they were involved.
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i recorded and have watched three times the hearing and the testimony, and one of the things , hits they, for me -- i call it the hit list or the be on the lookout list, the tea party, pro-life, patriots, we the people, 912 project, national organization for marriage. the fact they use the irs from was brought atf as up by and was mostly republicans that brought it up, in the hit list, internal audit by the investigator general -- the audit was by no means a thorough .vestigation under of -- both
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--- oath. he admitted there was a hit list. timingly seems -- with like this, i am disappointed as a democrat because it seems like this was intended to influence even in a small way to influence the president election. host: was there a hit list? hest: one of the things that mentioned was that there have been letters that were written. -- some fromfor senators trying to draw attention to the rise of nonprofits for some time in the wake of the citizens united ruling -- these are both democratic activists embrace the vehicle which had been
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freed today corporate money, union money, take unlimited funds from individuals to run political ads. they were trying to draw attention to some of these big groups on the left. andave seen priority usa patriot majority usa, which was started by a strategist who has .ead about harry reid on the right, we have ross rhodes gps, which stands for grassroots policy strategy. it was carl -- confided by karl rove. these are big fish that were out there. the buzzwords that were being used were patriots, tea party, 912 project, referring back to glenn beck's organization.
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we have seen this may the irs has not focused on some big political spenders but instead got wrapped up in these smaller organizations across the nation. host: we have got a timeline .com the national journal focus on the irs timeline -- host: the decision held the government could not stop unions from spending money to back or denounce political candidates. , little bit later on
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applications job, the irs says it receives a flood of applications for organizations seeking 501(c) four status over two years. the number of applications jumps to 3400. the third item on this timeline, profiling starts in march of 2010 because of the surge in applications. the reviewtralizes of applications. tea partyords such as and patriot, according to the ap. to a surgeited leads and because of this there aren't enough people to handle applications at the irs? guest: political minded nonprofits have existed for quite some time.
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this led to certain organizations being able to do political and issue advocacy. if you fast-forward into the last decade, you had the wisconsin decision that started loosening some of the things that could be done by nonprofits. in the past, these always relied on donations from individual people that could not take corporate money and could not take union treasury money. they had to rely on unlimited contributions. the wake of citizens united, all that changed. you can now take union money or corporate money or an unlimited check from an individual at the nonprofits. you have this big pot of money and you can decide how to spend it. maybe some will go to issue ads
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or robo calls or tv ads. the incentives have changed. there are really a few key nonprofit organizations that accounts for the bulticak tspee seen. there's been a rise in nonprots but there's also been few that have been of the cream of the crop that have been the bulk of this spending. host: we are taking a look at the irs targeting conservative groups. our guest is michael beckel. our next call is from georgia on the line for republicans. .aller: thank you i want to say thank you to mr. beckel for the great work of the center for public integrity is engaged in.
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i received your e-mails and follow the online. i think a little bit different position. any unfair treatment by the government sanctioning one particular dynamic of the political process or even the nonprofit process, my position is this -- i think anybody with a little bit of general understanding realizes that for the most part, the tea party crowd is very much a political -- hard-core political advocacy dynamicsh very little will bring to their work. tea party stuff would have done some educational dynamics and i appreciate that, but i want to take a little bit different position. i think that perhaps the scrutiny following sentences in a bit over-the-top.
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i i figure to be more scrutiny on other organizations, not just the tea party. maybe a little bit of overzealousness has taken place with the tea party dynamic, if that is happened, that is unfair. there should be more focus on the other organizations. host: give me an exam of an organization you think needs to be looked at in the same way that the irs is opposed to a been looking at the tea party. caller: in all fairness, you're asking me to name and a limitation that most likely, as you have are the established, you're the number of organizations that apply for nonprofits, most of them are not big-name organizations. --hink that is a little bit that is a difficult task to say. i just think the irs may have necessarily anot
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fair job, but looking at -- the fact is, the tea party group for the most part is not serving the fundamental educational dynamic. look at the work that the center for public integrity airing -- look at this that is the present. that is serious, hard-core educational dynamics, whereas tea party does not do that. host: we will leave it there, michael beckel. guest: one of the distinctions is that the 501(c) four, part of the tax code is sort of a grab bag. there are groups with a wide variety of issues and agendas that can operate with a social welfare purpose. the scrutiny that these groups get can be applied to them, but to answer the question, they show that they are not going to operate for private gain, if they're going to operate for a general welfare purpose, you got on alliberal groups
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sides of the spectrum they get in this text that is -- tax status. you have abortion-rights groups, civil rights groups. all across the board created this is a tax status that is and no oneadvocacy wants is part of the tax code to be used as a place for shadow political parties or shuttlecocks. -- pat >> you have a president of hurting his organization into a 501(c) four to continue to do legislative work. you got organizing for america going out. people have asked questions whether they were part of the buzzwords are whether organizing for action should've been part of the buzzwords. when the report was issued, they said clear guidance should be issued to help ferret out
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which groups deserve special scrutiny. host: a report that says nonprofits outspend super pacs in 2010 and the trend may continue. do you think this trend is going to continue and how does that play into the larger story we're covering? citizens united supreme court case was a big game changer. when you have got the ability to be involved in politics, one of the things we have seen over the , do you disclose the donors or at what level do you have to disclose donors? political committees of all stripes have to disclose all people who give money over $200 to them. if you're one of these groups that exists in the political arena, there's a certain amount of disclosure that is mandated by law. super pacs can accept unlimited amounts of money, the price
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they play is meeting to disclose all donors they get more than $200. on the other side, you have this renewed interest in 501(c) 4 or decisions that are also allowed to advocate for candidates. they can do much of the same types of advertising, they just can't do that with 100% of their money. they only have to disclose a particularrmark contribution for a particular ad, and noticeably that rarely happens. if you're just going out, raising a lot of money for people,, saying we have got this general interest in advancing conservative values or advancing democratic values and you get all this money and you put into gear treasury and start , there's- spending very very little donor disclosure that is required with that. host: michael beckel from the center for public integrity
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focus on super pacs and influence of money on elections. he is here to talk about the irs. maryland, independent line. caller: thank you. i think the work that the center for public integrity might failed to expand on this is a little bit -- i am concerned about the effect this will have on anybody that's -- that wants to report something and federal government. nationalupposed to be we want to operate within the law. in this case, that was not something that happened. i'm sorry, i'm getting feedback. host: go ahead and wrap your thoughts. if you see something, say something.
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this undercuts the trust of the government because if you see something and say something to the wrong person or to the wrong is but a general or to the wrong reporting agency, that person is trying to do the right thing might be the person that is subjected to scrutiny or retribution. nobody wants the irs to be used as a political tool or a political arm of one administration or another, whether that is republican or democratic, there's a lot of fear about using or misusing the power of the irs. thatave groups out there have received horrible customer service. that was a phrase used during the hearing yesterday, and we have seen it and some of the big spending groups that they have been operating under certain assumptions that they may or may not receive tax-exempt status. if you are a smaller organization or more grassroots orused, going to a big donor
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going to a foundation, trying to get support for what you're doing and he don't have a ruling letter from the irs, that can be a discouraging thing. host: our next call from oklahoma. democrat line. caller: hi, michael. it is kind of nice to hear from that last republican. i agree with him. he is looking at it from a nonpartisan point of view. a person would have to be crazy to think the tea party is not a political organization. tohink it is up to congress work something out because a lot of the reasons they're going is that 501(c) four they are trying to avoid disclosing all their money is coming from. i think with the irs, they don't have enough people working. it makes it hard for them.
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it is hard to get to the bottom of it and find out why -- host: we will leave it there. ,n addition to the 501(c) fours allowing them to take in money undisclosed, they also don't have to disclose where they spend the money? guest: the question is a little more collocated. it thing -- propagated. -- complicated. if i produce an advertisement that helps a particular candidate or votes against ethnic -- a particular candidate, i am doing something the government has defined as an independent expenditure. i have to say when this is airing, who is produced it, what candidate is named in the ad and whether it was for or against that add. if you are engaging in political
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activity, there is disclosure of spending. if you just produce an ad that if you're candidate, doing that in a certain timeframe ahead of the election, that falls under a type of classification that has been called election communications. if it is on tv, cable or radio that is going out within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary, you have to disclose that spending. -- a direct mailer that much of the candlelit -- candidate that does not take a position on whether the candidate should be reelected -- would've is that an example in the montana court race, there was a organization that put out a couple of mailers that said the impartiality of the supreme court is important. a history ofe has
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contributing more to democrats, call him today or sign the online position best addition -- petition. they never had to report that to any election authority. once a year, a nonprofit also files a form 990. bit of a little information about top vendors and how much money they raised during the calendar year, how much money they spent during the calendar year, depending on which organization they are talking about. there is number information out there. you can see what type of grants there are and salaries. one of the things we have done is look at these interconnecting webs of nonprofits from a democratic side and republican side.
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you have got these organizations operate in a funneling money to each other. there is a big group in arizona which is a little more than a mailbox on paper. foras been responsible funneling tens of millions of dollars to other conservative nonprofit organizations. ,ost: we have another tweet this one is from flight for freedom -- host: ed is on our line. go ahead flt caller: thank you very much. good morning. this is against -- this is corrupt. i am a contributor individual. my family, mom and steddap, working today, my cousins, all the money we've sent for years.
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if you don't like the law you change it. but there's so many progressive. but to single out, if i was a democrat i would be outraged. if i was a republican -- which i am -- turn on them. this is the law. chopping heads is not the answer. every time there is a briefing -- do not let this go. this affected the last election. for years they've been slowing this down. nothing else. everyone i hear is debating all these talking about even that it's illegal. well, it's the same for everybody. the democrats have all theirs. there are thousands if not more. host: we're going to leave it there. guest: one of the reports, the i.g. report, one of the things that report raised was the tea party groups, the 9-12 groups the patriot groups only accounted for about a third of
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the entire case files that eventually became the subject of the report. so these were buzz words that were used. and it remains to be seen what criteria and what selection process the i.r.s. is going to use going forward from here. so the tea party groups and conservative groups weren't the only ones focused. we've had cases of liberal groups who were denied their 501 c 4 status. but by and large, when you look at nonprofit organizations, most of their names don't have these really highly partisan charged words in them. at the same time, that criteria alone is a pretty weak indicia of whether or not they plan to engage in political activity. the form specifically asks, do you plan to engage in lobbying? do you plan to actively support or directly or indirectly support candidates for public office? so one of the key take-aways from the inspector general's
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report is what criteria should the i.r.s. be using and can the i.r.s. develop a more clear guidance on how to ferret out which organizations deserve an extra look. >> some more stops. n the the time line.
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doug in north carolina on our line for independents. caller: ok, so one of the things that the american people would probably be interested in knowing about is the history of the internal revenue service and the fact that the amendment was questionably ratified in december of 19 -- i think it was 15. but we didn't have an income tax prior to that time. and the whole reason that some people say that we have an internal revenue service and an income tax is because of the federal reserve. and i think people -- i hear an echo in there. >> i think no echo on this end. but thanks for your call. guest: thed to has evolved over the years. we know that the 501 c 4 classification for the social
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welfare organizations is more of a grab bag. if you've got time to read the i.r.s. code, you'll notice that there are dozens of different organizations. so the center for public int -- integrity is a -- the donation that is you make to a charity like that are tax deductible. but if you look at the c 4s or c 6's or c 17s. i mean, these types of organizations have these different rules that apply to them and they've evolved over the years. if you make a donation that's not something you can write off. if you're a 6 that's the type of organization that's a business league or chamber of commerce. if you're a c 5 that's your labor unions. there are many different designations under the tax code and the focus that we've seen a lot here has been on these 501 c 4s that have really spiked in recent years.
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>> michael has been our guest, reporter for the center for public integrity. thank you very much for being on the program. guest: thank you. host: coming up, u.s.a. today white house correspondent david jackson on the history of the relationship between the i.r.s. and the white house. and then later in the program scott nova of the workers rights consortium will be talking to us about last month's factory collapse that killed thousands of people. we want to remind of our guests on "newsmakers" this week. chris van hollen of the budget committee is our guest and he will be talking about congress' difficulties in tackling the debt and agree ong a budget as well as how the administration and the congress are responding to the i.r.s.'s targeting of conservative groups. here's a preview of him discussing sequestration. >> we need to deal with this on a comprehensive basis.
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and i do think it's a mistake for congress to try and deal with this piecemeal because congress rushed to take care of folks at the airports, including members of congress who were rushing out of town. but in doing so left behind kids on headstart who are losing their services, seniors who get meals on wheels. researchers who are doing important work in the discovering treatments and cures to cancer and other diseases. so it doesn't make sense to me just to take the issue that happens to pop up when there are all sorts of other problems resulting from sequester. now, the president has been crystal clear that when it comes to the major pieces of the sequester, so defense and nondefense, that he would veto any effort to try to undo one and not the other. and this may become relevant in the weeks ahead because i would
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-- i believe you may see another effort from republicans to simply say we're going to fix the defense sequester. but leave in place the other sequester. in fact, if you look at the appropriations bills coming out of the house of representatives , you're seeing the markup the ones in the defense area, military, construction, veterans. and they're marking those up to very high levels which means they're going to absolutely gut and devastate important investments in education, in science and research, and in some of our transportation, infrastructure and the area of new starts. so i think the president has been clear on that and it may well be that that issue comes to a boil before we get to the debt ceiling and before we get to october, the end of the fiscal year. obviously that date is the final backstop. something has to happen before then. >> i want to be clear.
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yes to veto? the president should veto it? >> i think the president should be very clear that he doesn't accept the idea that we're going to relieve portions of the sequester when it comes to the defense piece he is absolutely been clear that he would veto that. and i support that position. "washington journal" continues. host: david jackson is a white house reporter with u.s.a. today and is here to talk to us about the situation in light of this week's i.r.s. scandal which saw the resignation of the acting i.r.s. commissioner day -- the i.r.s. commissioner and mr. jackson is going to help us take a look at the relationship between the u.s. president and the i.r.s. throughout modern history. the i.r.s. desires to be seen as an independent agency but it hasn't always been that way. has it? >> no, it hasn't. there have been examples of presidents using the irds and it's been found to be a bad idea.
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especially for president nixon. >> let's talk about that the hoth anniversary of the hearings about the situation at watergate and some have tried to make a comparison between what's going on right now with the i.r.s. and president obama and president nixon and his situation. your thoughts on that kind of a comparison. >> well, it's too early to say as senator mcconnell himself has said the i.r.s. hasn't jumped the fence into the white house. there no one who works for president obama that's been directly tied to this i.r.s. so at this point i think those comparisons are way too early. >> now, president nixon used the i.r.s. to go after people who were quote/unquote on the enemy's list. explain how that works. guest: when you look at the history of i.r.s. and the president's there's pre-watergate and watergate and post water gate. there's evidence that suggests some used the i.r.s. to go after their political enemies
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but it wasn't discovered at the time. but when president nixon became president it was discovered. the biggest toole they used was the i.r.s., using audits and trying to harass them on their taxes. and basically it was a systemic use of the internal revenue service and even some of nixon's supporters found that an egregious abuse of power and that was one of the articles of impeachment. >> you mentioned f.d.r. in particular, he went after andrew mel p and it was so extensive they actually referred to it as the andrew mel ln tax trial. >> exactly. all this came out after f.d.r. died. historians looking at that presidency. but for whatever reason roosevelt had an intense dislike for andrew melon and he used the i.r.s. to look at his
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taxes andelatnship he had. no one knows why or what provoked it except for the fact that he was a republican. but that's one of the most egregious uses of the i.r.s. by a president. >> and john f. kennedy is supposed to have targeted some conservative organizations using the ideological organizations project. is there a paralevel between what happened in the kennedy administration and what people are talking about in the obama administration? >> there is a strong similarity. it was going after what the kennedy considered to be right wing groups. one was the john birch society. and the i.r.s. had a specific project to look at these conservative groups and determine whether they were violating tax laws and there is evidence that president kennedy and his brother may have looked at it. to me that's the biggest difference is in that particular situation was traced to the white house. this one has not been.
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>> we're talking with david jackson who is with taumplet today, white house reporter there and here to talk to us about the historicle relationship between the president and the i.r.s. through modern history. if you would like to get involved in the conversation give us a call. the numbers are on the bottom f your screen. also, send us messages via twitter, facebook, and e-mail. our first call comes from tom in pennsylvania. on our line for democrats. go ahead. turn down the volume on your television. go ahead with your question or comment. caller: what i understand is the senators have all those letters that have the signatures tand requests to the i.r.s. on them.
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i'm wondering why the senators can't simply look at those letters and look at the codes and track back to the department or the person who actually drew the letter up and from there track who approved the paragraphs in the letters. it's a fairly simple clerical situation. guest: i don't know if that's part of the investigation or not. but i do know that there have been democratic senators raised questions about the tea party group and whether they've been violating tax laws or not. in terms of whether the senate is looking at their own senate action i just don't know. host: next up, marsia from north carolina on our line for independents. caller: i just wanted to say that all groups that want to get a 501 c 4 have to submit certain paperwork and the i.r.s. is supposed to verify whether it's right and then
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give the permission. and what citizens united, so many more cases were flooding in that they decided to try to find a way where they could process out the ones they thought were most likely to not be 501 c 4s and they used the tea party term which i'm not going to say that was the best term to -- the best way to do it but they used that. and they asked them for extra paperwork. and this is all kind of crazy because even though they asked for that extra paperwork all those groups passed and got their 501 c 4. nobody was rejected. and in that time period the only group that was rejected was a liberal group. and this gentleman here who is sitting with you, you say he's from u.s.a. today, yesterday or thursday's u.s.a. today headline was practically saying that the i.r.s. was leaving out liberals. i wrote it down somewhere but i
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can't find the exact headline but -- it has nothing to do with that. and they self-corrected. that's the other part. some session or meeting they said we're singling out the tea party. we've got to do it differently and they fixed it. that's the kind of government we want. we want one that's going to review itself and check itself. and it has done that before we heard about it. and now what's going to happen? they're going to do them in order and you're going to wait for a year or whatever to get your approval because nobody wants to raise taxes to hire more people. host: david. guest: that was a very good summary of the i.r.s. position, they were doing their job. i must say that the u.s.a. tory she referred to says the applications of liberal groups were processed at a faster
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rate. that's the point of the story. they got their approval faster and there's evidence that the conservative ones were held up because of the situation. >> host: president johnson also had some relationships with the i.r.s. but not necessarily as president. correct? guest: first during his presidency the evidence suggests that johnson was offering tax farse in exchange for votes or support or whatever. that's the allegation. but when he was a congressman, in the 19 40's there was a tax case investigating the brown brothers who were very big financial contributors of johnson at that time. so johnson went to visit president roosevelt and shortly after that meeting the investigation was dropped. host: imagine that. next up lessly in north carolina on our line for republicans. you're on the "washington journal" with david jackson. caller: good morning. mr. jackson, i wanted to
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basically actually thank you for the story that you actually wrote with factual information in the article you wrote. but the point that i want to make this morning is that all the people that are calling in are basically saying with tea party, patriot, it was 912 project. if you had the word constitution, liberty. most of these tax-exempt organizations really were trying not to pay some of them like $5,000 and like the last man said finally he got to the right point if you donate you as a taxpayer can't deduct it off your taxs. it's only the organization. whatever. but my point to you is they were all groups including prow israel religious groups,
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pro-life groups. they were all conservative leaning groups. were they not? that is my question. they were all -- and everyone keeps saying it's only 70 groups and 36 got their tax exempt status. if you add all the conservative groups, it was around 500. is that not correct? guest: i don't remember the exact number. it's in the hundreds. but there's no doubt the i.r.s. targeted the conservative groups. they wanted to review whether or not they were entitled to tax exempt status. the i.r.s. call it a listing. others call it a targeting. and even president obama is furious how they handled this. host: we haven't gotten far enough away from the situation to where the historians are going to weigh in. but based on your reporting and what you've seen in history so far, does the obama administration seem to have as close a relationship with the ird i.r.s. as some of the other
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presidents? host: there's no evidence of it. in the post watergate phase, presidents have tried to stay away from the i.r.s.. every president since nixon has been accuse ds of using the i.r.s. but there's no evidence of that. most administration try to set up a firewall between it and the people who collect taxes because people who can collect taxes aren't very popular. >> host: next up, carol. caller: good morning. i would just like to make a comment. i think it's a lot that they are scrutinizing like two people, the i.g. and steven miller for this whole situation. and which i think we have a lot of things otherwise that in the economy to cover. it's too much coverage on this. they need to let those people do their job and figuring out who needs to get what like any other government department. and move on to things like
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people that are losing their coverage and whatever else that's going on in the world. that's my comment for today. guest: i think you'll be hearing a lot of that from the white house. that they're trying to pay attention to the people's business. and that relates both to the i.r.s. and the benghazi flap. the white house is eager to get past these situations and i think you'll be hearing president obama talk about that quite a bit. >> host: who was it that brought some of these relationships past, let's say before watergate, that brought this to light? was it a -- an inspector general or somebody else? guest: the old historians, i think the best one in terms of i.r.s. alleged abuses is david binham, an investigative reporter and runs a fact clearinghouse out of syracuse called track but i can't recall what it stands for. he wrote a book called the power unto itself.
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i think he's probably the best historian about the darker aspects of the i.r.s. also basic historians have talked about separate presidents. johnson and roosevelt and their situations. and all of the kndy biographers have unearthed some of the situations targeted the john birch society. and nixon and watergate. host: next up, phil on our line for republicans calling from virginia this morning. caller: thank you. had a question and a comment. these entities, the c 4's are basically like pass-through things. they don't generate any profit or any taxable income on their ofpblete they pay salaries. bef
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that. they made interest, this kind of thing. why do they need to be tax-free entities altogether? why do they need to go through this? the second thing is they're not -- they're not primarily social welfare. that's fiction. and why? host: we'll leave it there. most of the examples that we've been talking about so far are the president's using or allegedly using the i.r.s. to go after their enemies. but you wrote about president carter who used the i.r.s. in a different way. explain that to us. guest: used it to end racial discrimination among, in a christian school, in -- that wasn't in my particular story. i was tasked with writing about i.r.s. abuses.
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past water geath and certainly in the immediate matter. now, i think what you're talking about is a situation where president carter had a situation with what he called white flight academies in the south in the 1970s and these are situations when schools were desegregated, a lot of private schools were set up considered christian academies and tended to be all white. and president carter was concerned about this. he felt this might be a situation we're setting up another separate but equal situation. so president carter questioned whether or not these private christian academies were deserving of the tax exemptions and he launched -- he had the i.r.s. look into whether or not these schools were entitled to a tax exemption or not or whether they were practicing racial discrimination. that was more of a political thing. it caused quite a reaction among the south and it is one of the reason as lot turned towards the republicans and ronald reagan and cost carter a lot of votes. host: next up, louisiana on our
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line for independents. go ahead. kiveraget i do want to make one statement and ask a question. the president sets the tone. if he is going to continue going out and it's all republican-republican-or whatever, he sets the tone for what goes on in this country and i'm not suggesting that he is the one that ordered any of this i.r.s. stuff or any of this other stuff. but when you go out and you're publicly recorded as saying we will go after our enemies who don't think like us, that's setting the tone for people to have a license to do things. but my question is during the hearings yesterday, i believe it was the senator from california that said something about us having a voluntary tax system. i also think harry reid said something about that america
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has a voluntary tax system. what is this federal tax withholding out of your checks every week that you get? if this is a voluntary thing? you know, i'm going to unvolunteer if that's the case. your answer? guest: i'm sure a lot of people would as well. first, you make the argument that a lot of republicans make. it all starts at the top. and republicans have been critics of the i.r.s. for decades now and this is a golden opportunity talk about the i.r.s. represents big government and taking too much of the people's money. i'm not familiar with the voluntary setup. i would assume it means you wouldn't have to have withholding if you didn't want to. but i think what most republicans say the i.r.s. should be replaced with is a flat tax and eliminate the need for the i.r.s. altogether. >> you had mentioned david birnham and track which stands for transactional records access clearinghouse at syracuse university. guest: they collect -- one of
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the better investigative warehouses in the country. they track an awful lot of federal records and i.r.s. records in particular. host: anthony from miller place, new york. go ahead. caller: thank you for take mig all. if c-span could have eliot spitzer on, he could enlighten you. if you look at his case he has been investigating and bringing charges against a very well -oiled businessman on long island who had been contributing large sums of money to john mccain, president george bush, and the i.r.s. agent that was affiliated with the same government officials that he had been scrutinizing and bringing charges against, it was only months after that that he had been taken out by an i.r.s. agent which was well connected to this man, this
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developer. and bank ster in that matter. the pardon fred fielding got the man a pardon on christmas eve and george bush revoked the pardon because it was so obvious that it was a pay for play scandal. and if you look at what took out eliot spitzer you will see the same abuses. and this came from the president. so i hope if you have any connections to any true investigative journalists that they would take a look at that. and perhaps c-span would have eliot spitzer on to discuss this case. host: i understand that he is a frequent viewer and if he's watching today we'll extend him an invitation to come on the program. guest: i'm not familiar with the details but i have heard back in the days when he was the prosecutor he was very aggressive and i'm sure use it had i.r.s. to conduct investigations. that's a little different because prosecutors are entite
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tolled use that information. host: we're talking with david jackson talking about the historicle relationship between the i.r.s. and the white house. and one of the presidents we haven't touched on is president clinton who is accused of ordering and audit in retaliation for the paula jones affair. tell us about that. guest: since watergate every president has been accused of doing this. and president clinton was also accused of this. he was involved with many investigation and some said they were auditted and accused clinton and one was paula jones who filed a sexual harassment suit. i think there's a quote there something to the effect we may be dumb but we're not crazy. and he explained that the president stay as far as away from the i.r.s. because of the watergate. >> sometimes an audit is just an audit.
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amy, you're on the "washington journal." go ahead. caller: i think the problem boils down to just pennies on the dollar. if we had a national sales tax with veterans exempt from it, we would have scads and scads of extra money. we wouldn't be pressed to audit anybody. and just for three or four cents more going to the federal government on the dollar bill. host: all right. we're going to leave it there. except for having to hire attorneys to defend yourselves eatser in front of the i.r.s. or court has this cost folks a lot of money? guest: not that i know of. it's i want resting she mentioned a national sales tax. a lot of republicans and some
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democrats want to curb the power of the i.r.s. if not eliminate it entirely and one suggestion has been a national sales tax. so this host: david jackson wrote for and theas morning news washington bureau since 1995. he has covered the u.s. supreme court, congress and the bush white house. next up, georgia on the line for independents. caller: quick question for mr. jackson. one of the congressmen asked of -- the narrative seemed to be there was an influx of applications and that is why they had to come up with this -- these targeting scenarios. targetingat being started in 2010, but the thancations were lower
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they were in 2009. can mr. jackson speak to that? guest: that is a good question. that is part of the republican case. there was a term in in tea party applications. that increased the not start until 2011. that is one of the big questions about this whole investigation. host: on our democrat line from atlanta, georgia, you are on the washington journal, pamela. caller: yes, i looked at the hearing yesterday, and from my aspect, they were asking the same questions over and over again. you can tell the republicans are trying to get -- my question is, why isn't that they don't have enough people that are trained to fill out paperwork and then have supervisors that are
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probably trained to go over the paperwork and double check the paperwork? that's what i don't understand. i think your odds of getting your staff are not too good. republicansdoubt are wondering if there's a connection between what the irs and the president's reelection campaign. that is what they're looking at. host: mike in houston, texas. go ahead, mike. caller: good morning. this week when i was traveling and i saw in the usa today, the headlines this week was the irs gave a path to liberals. a number of months required for tea party groups to get approval for tax-exempt status, 27 months. the liberal groups sailed through within three months, normally. correction, more like six months, i believe.
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lied when she said she did nothing about this -- new nothing about this. the barack hussein obama foundation got approved in one month for tax-exempt status and a got to ears -- two years retroactive tax-exempt status. the irs which contribute more than obama -- far more than the did for republican candidates were doing exactly what president obama would have wanted them to do. i would contend that barack obama is the irs and the irs has been barack obama. host: david jackson, usa today. guest: there is no doubt conservatives are treated differently and the question is why.
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some republicans are suspicious hisresident obama and possible involvement in this. there is no direct evidence to tie him to any of this. connecticut on our line for independents. , you canes, first off you areeer because tricked into doing it illegally. there have been many cases where people have taken to tax court and you can beat them by jurisdiction because the only place they have jurisdiction is government employees. if you live in the district of columbia. another point is, our court systems are so corrupt because what happened to all the information that bill clinton get the congress and the supreme with in 1985 which proved
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certified affidavits from every state and from the national archives that the 16th amendment was never ratified, never was the 17th amendment. because ofhings are the federal reserve. host: david jackson. guest: the irs has had its critics ever since they were intended. -- instituted. many people don't recognize the legitimacy. host: louisiana census this tweet -- guest: that is another thing republicans are looking at. ahead of the elections and people are wondering if these obstacles are in the path of republicans in terms of raising money. or proofno evidence
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there's any connection, but i am sure they are trying to look for it. host: maryland, our line for the democrats. caller: good morning. historically speaking, the irs -- everyone is afraid of the irs area and -- i am just a disabled veteran. i see the irs as a hammer, metaphorically speaking grade -- speaking. why wouldn't they use that as leverage? thank you. .uest: that would be illegal in the past, they have used it as a hammer and it -- eventually the laws were changed. it seems like an obvious abuse of power. even the president's allies say that he or she should not be doing that.
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the power to tax is the power destroyed and all of that. if they were to engage, that will be a challenge for our democracy. host: talk to us about how the laws were changed post-watergate and thinking to continue on with this metaphor of taking the hammer out of the toolbox of the president. guest: there are only two political employees of the irs. president caps, on the irs will to do in terms of taxing someone or giving you a tax break. trying to create a firewall between the white house and the irs. it is a tricky thing. presidentsof a -- are not supposed to deal with the irs. our: eureka, california, republican line. caller: what was wilson's relationship with the irs?
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how do we pay for debt under washington before the iraq even existed -- irs even existed? tax passedincome during the wilson administration. , he wasd with hoover considered to be the first president with direct evidence of this kind of thing. he cut the budget and weapons manufacturers do not like that and began attacking the administration. that was the first concrete example that i saw of presidential involvement. host: based on what we have seen so far in history and all of the things that are going on the -- with the current situation, do you see where the next administration might want to try and put more distance between themselves and the irs?
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guest: i wonder if they will try to change laws. you have to see some kind of obama-like involvement before you would see any change. congress may try to pass some laws to try to restrict it as an entity. it just depends on events. host: virginia, our line for independents. i was audited three times by the irs, once for charitable deductions. i made them to my church and community things. the other time, i was self- paying as a i was self-employed person. found it was right but they called me into his eyes should've been paying the
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quarterly. the third time, i got a gift from a savings and loan and i reported that as a gift. why did i need, to report a $20 gift? they were all fine, i got away. i was angry that they find me. two years ago, i was forced to sell property. 16,000 a year. i pay a capital gains tax. i ended up getting money back from them and paying less having $60,000 more earnings charge against me -- $16,000 more. host: do you feel like you were audited because you are part of the administration? guest: , icaller: no, what happened
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had to go down to falls church. the first three times i was audited, i think i was being used as a training thing. host: we will leave it there and move on to california on the for democrats, daniel. daniel? caller: yes, hello. back in 2004 when the irs audited the naacp, where were the republicans then? for the end of lacey piquet but of the bush administration -- the audit for the end of lacey piquet under the bush administration. naacp. guest: it is like anything else
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in this country, it leads to ever is complaining. bipartisan affair accusation of improper use of the irs. host: keith in florida, go ahead. about the media the don't point out that the naacp, it's apples and oranges. c4. are the had a according to some simple -- some people, they were breaking the rules by the way they were politicing. that's why they were investigated and i think it is apples and oranges. i find it irs itself, funny that mr. miller did not bring his notes or did not have a copy of the ig report.
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are they not allowed to give him that? i have two more quick questions. ig person, one of the republicans asked him if there are more investigations to come down. is it unusual for him to knowledge that there is? are these investigations about how the tax information got out to the public -- host: we will leave it there you have given us a lot to work with. guest: i would assume a lot of the records have been debated -- subpoenaed. ig is being investigated all the time. this morning, there are an awful lot of them, i think everything has to be checked out. --t: next up, gary in employee am a former
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of the irs. i was a revenue officer out of glendale, arizona. , it do not write tax law is written by the legislative branch of our government and for interpretation by the irs. any questions about tax law goes through tax court. they run audits of about five percent per year for personal returns. there is that random audit that is the one. -- does go on. this parts that we're looking at people by their religious or whatever, it is a fallacy. host: what is it that the irs looks for or what triggers an audit? .aller: your tax return
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it is barcoded by the label that goes back on the tax return. it is a random audit. host: you never felt while you were working for the iran's that you were being sent out -- irs that you are being sent out based on a political affiliation? caller: i was not in on it grade i was -- i was not in on it. -- in audit. i was a revenue officer and take whatever means necessary to complete my job and protect the vested interest of the irs and treasury. host: did you feel like you were strictly law enforcement or did you feel like you were being used as a hammer? you could feel like you were hammered because you had the ability to go in and you could take people's homes, their houses and their bank accounts. host: we will leave it there.
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david jackson, you have the last word. guest: i think we have a long way to go on this. many were publicans and democrats are outraged at the way this was handled. i think it will stay a story for a long time and you'll hear a lot of republicans talk about the irs in next year's election. as of now, there is no connection to the presidential campaign. , white houseackson reporter with usa today. thank you for being on "washington journal" -- coming up, last month's factory collapsed and been a -- -- in bangladesh. we will be right back. ♪
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♪ >> how do you feel about describing your science in 30 seconds? >> imagine you had a yardstick, cut in 10 equal pieces and go to the size of my fingernail. you get to the size of the adam if he did this 10 times. what is left in our universe? we have been working on a piece of mathematics to answer that question. bymy wife is often asked people who find out i am a theoretical physicist, what is her husband alher answer is, hep
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stuff for living. that is sort of) but i prefer to tell my story the following way -- most people know that a novelist takes words and makes characters and tell stories. make upathematics to our characters and tell our stories. then, if we are really good at what we do, our stories correspond to some that happens in nature. that little clip that you saw a few moments ago was my attempt to boil down to a 32nd soundbite describing what it is that i and others do to try to understand the world. jr.ore with s. james gates sunday at 8 p.m.. >> she was a believer and women's rights and express frustrations with the role of mother and wife.
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she reluctantly played the role of hostess for her husband. when he was assassinated, she returned to ohio and ensured his legacy by making their home into an early version of a presidential library. we will look at the life of mary arthur mcelroy. join our conversation about the lives of the first ladies live monday night at 9 p.m. eastern on c-span and c-span three and since then radio and c-span.org. >> "washington journal" continues. >> the executive director of the workers rights consortium and he will speak with us us about the situation of the factory collapsed overseas. welcome to the program. >> thank you. what happened us at the factory, the collapse in mainland -- -- bangladesh.
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in a: several factories single building were producing clothes for retailers, including jcpenney, the joe fresh clothing line, numerous brands in europe. that building collapsed and killed -- the death toll is .ver 1000 people this is the worst factory accident in the history of the global garment industry. it is important to note that there were building cracks in the walls and workers were terrified to go into the building. themanagers threatened workers that they will be docked pay. the workers went in, the building collapsed less than an hour later and the results were horrific. there has been a great deal of debate around the world about what to do about the dangers of
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working conditions. was a sade it situation, how is that connected to what happened here in the united states? guest: this is not a problem of bangladesh, but the global industry. these brands and retailers produce a bill clothing in bangladesh which menace pressure on the factories to produce at prices so low the only way factories can possibly meet and keep labor costs low is to ignore basic safety standards. that is what if we see people dying. the key drivers of this problem are the euros -- u.s. and european brands. host: the new york times story talked about global retailers joining a safety plan.
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tell us about that plan, and our clothing the servitors part of that plan? guest: a long list of labor unions around the world have worked several years and been asking major brands and retailers to sign a binding forceful agreement under which they must pay for building renovations, repairs, retrofitting, necessary to turn these factories and places like .angladesh into safe factories some generalt promises from countries, it is a binding contract that the company must follow. a huge breakthrough was achieved, is unfortunate would have to happen to achieve it. 's brandsy of the world committed to sign a binding agreement. there has been a split.
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have agreed to signing the safety contract but we have seen less report from others. , avin klein, tommy hilfiger huge canadian firm, the biggest ,layers in the apparel industry walmart and cap, have so far refused to make these worker safety commitments. host: why is that? guest: that is a question those companies have to answer. based on the track record of those companies, we believe it is because they are not willing to pay the modestly higher prices to factories necessary to enable the factories to work in a safe manner and they don't want to sign a contract that can be enforced. anytime there is a disaster in a factory, when that generate public pressure and media criticism, no one wants to make
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promises. -- wait for make the spotlight to fade and quietly break the promises. binding contract that can be enforced long after the media shifts its focus elsewhere. that is the primary reason why we cannot get walmart and got to sign on to this agreement. host: also on tuesday in the wall street journal with the gapline promises made -- said it would not sign the agreement because of the language that makes it legally binding in u.s. courts.
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guest: yes, and the statement from gap is dishonest. they have proposed to gut the agreement, to remove the essential part of the agreement that makes it binding and enforceable so becomes just another voluntary program that companies can leave whenever they wish. , theroposal they wish solution should be to relieve gap of all of its operations under the agreement but allowing gap to walk away. toor organizations who want make sure we don't see workers dying are not going to accept an agreement that cannot be enforced. the liability concern is a smokescreen. most major brands and retailers have signed this agreement. they are no less of honorable to legislation -- vulnerable.
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none have raise the slightest concern about liability. gap does not want to sign a binding agreement to enable factories to operate in a safe manner. we are talking with the executive director of the workers rights consortium. we are talking about overseas working conditions. if you want to get in touch with us, the numbers are on the screen. we want to let you know a little bit more about the clothing factory situation. they are the second leading garment exporter behind china. about 5000 garment factories and 4.5 million people employed and 80% are women. monthly wages are $37, the lowest in the world. it is a $20 billion industry.
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of the garments that are produced, what percentage come to the united states? guest: about 25% of to the u.s. and two thirds go to europe. host: we will start taking calls and the first one called -- comes from the settle, texas, our line for democrats. -- desoto, texas. caller: good morning, thank you for coming on to c-span and thank you c-span for having him. number one, i think gap and walmart -- people should not be in those stores at all. that is the reason jobs are over there because you can't get people over here to work for $37 a month. they are making big profits off of mostly women.
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without children today mothers and fathers, i think that is despicable. the sad part about it, the people who need to hear this don't listen to c-span. thank you very much. guest: i understand and share the colors and -- outrage -- caller's outrage. it is important to note that amounts ofade many dollars off of workers overseas and refused to pay to protect the workers. the cost to brands and retailers of upgrading factories and making them safe, putting an end to these disasters is less than $.10 per garment to make these safe. this is what gap and walmart or if using to pay. -- are refusing to pay. caller: thanks for taking our
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call. it is easy to become involved with the daily details of this kind of thing. the real reason we're in here, -- had theyans enforced the import taxes, these sorts of things wouldn't be happening as often. also, our own country would be more busy as a result. guest: there is no question the trade policy has encouraged the shifting of jobs to other countries without any meaningful protections for the rights of workers. it should not be possible for major brands and retailers in the united states to produce clothing under inhumane working conditions and inhumane factories. and to import those documents to the u.s. with little trouble and sell it to residents.
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our focus at this point is trying to compel the major brands and retailers to ship their policy. we have a tweet from laura who says -- guest: each individual consumer has to make that decision. anyone who says i don't have to -- no consumer wants to save a few pennies when they're shopping at the expense of the lives of the workers who made the clothing. if there is anything that can approach a consensus among consumers, that would be it. host: assuming a consumer pays $35 a shirt here in the nights that, how much that money gets to people who made the shirts?
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guest: a few pennies of that. less than one percent of the retail price of the garments is actually income for workers who make it. per month wage. these people work 60-70 hours per week. they can up a decent food on the table for their kids. these are wages under workers are producing clothing for consumers in the united states, canada and europe. host: diana calling from livingston, new jersey. caller: as a citizen of the world, i am very appalled at what happened. it just goes to show you what you get with anti-regulation, the deregulation crowd. profits are put before worker safety, worker rights, employee production and happiness.
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here, you see this going on, they're tearing down right in wisconsin, michigan, ohio, new jersey. these republican governors, that is what they are about, taking rights away from workers. , theexcuse of cheap labor order these people back into a crack the building, they should be criminal -- it should be criminal, nevermind a $500,000 fine. that is like a slap on a rest. the banks don't admit wrongdoing and this is what is going on and we have to come together as a nation and protest. if you can't change what is going on now, the most atrocious accident in the history of the garments factory, where can you change? thank you. guest: that last point is critical. the is by a large margin, worst factor accident in the
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history of the global garment industry. people were killed because of the negligence of a western, the greed of the building owner. if a tragedy of this magnitude was of worldwide public results in -- revolves -- is difficult to imagine what would. this is a critical moment to achieve the fundamental shift in labor practices of the big brands of retailers. s are refusingayer to commit. host: jack in maryland. caller: good morning. i am actually sick and tired of listening to multinational ceos constantly say to the television cameras that americans have an
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insatiable appetite to low-cost goods. that can be further from the truth. these multinational multinational ceos are interested in nothing else but lining their pockets and running. goods of that could kill you, they could care less. sourcing of illegal immigration because when you look at the whole picture in its totality, globalization is what is ripping up the middle class of america. we have got the corporations and gutting ourans -- country and middle-class. thank you. guest: the caller is right. retailers like to blame it on consumers.
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they get criticized and they say consumers have insatiable appetite for low-cost clothes. consumers are not demanding clothes made under abusive working conditions. consumers are never given a choice and are not presented with options in the store. they don't look at a rack and see a choice between a garment made under decent working a garment for the brand admits it is made in a sweatshop. as much retailers keep information for consumers so they don't know conditions, don't know about factories, don't know wages for workers. bearsis research that this out, if consumers are given a choice, to pay a modest amount more to ensure the products they are buying are made under decent, humane working conditions, at fair wages and in factories where they don't have to taper life
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into their hands, consumers will buy those products. it is my consumers driving this problem, it is the brands and retailers. host: is that the difference between a mindset in europe and in the united states? guest: i don't think there's a difference difference between consumers in europe and the u.s. there is a difference between the mentality of corporate leaders in europe and the u.s. brand andevery major retailer in europe, including the largest retailer in the h&m, why is it that these giants are signing on and we aren't seeing cap and walmart signing on? there is a mentality that is anti-worker from antiunion, anti-regulatory that blinds them to fundamental issues of humanity and decency that they are simply incapable of using
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the obligation to have to step up and pay a few pennies more for product product and the end to these tragedies. host: scott is the founding executive director of the workers rights consortium. specialist on international trade, labor rights and corporate accountability issues. he is our guest for another 23 minutes. our next call comes from mark entebbe, florida, on our line for democrats. caller: good morning, i would like to thank c-span for having scott on. i am third generation union. is a former coal miner and my father was in the union for 40 years. myself, i am a third-generation member of the united brotherhood of carpenters.
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i am also a desert storm u.s. marine. of hiscollar ranch service in many regards. [indiscernible] there's a lot more response marines do hold umbrellas for president. what's scott is talking about is human rights. of lack ofcause regulation. that building was full of women trying to scratch out a living so people around the world can wear cheap clothes. you can go to an extensive store the sametore and find shirt. ask -- people are
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-- ir around the world theirclose with this, money was traced back to just inheritance. i'm referring to mitt romney and bain capital. we will leave it there, we're getting off the subject. guest: he makes an important point. we are asking them to pay a small amount more for the product they produce so that protectedfety can be in the workplace and they can be paid a decent wage. bangladesh work
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extremely hard. with thelain to generalized system of preferences is. guest: it is a program of trade preferences that the u.s. provides from many countries around the world, a discount on imported goods. host: doeowthat fit in with bangladesh?out a -- generalized the system of preferences program, there are labor standards. enjoys a country that these benefits, not protecting the rights of workers. the u.s. government is supposed to suspend the benefits. there is a petition that asks that the trade privileges they enjoyed be suspended or revoked until such a time that the government makes a meaningful
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effort to protect the safety and rights of workers in the country and theirs was be decision on the petition sometime in the next couple of months. host: would our trade people just take the word of bangladeshis? guest: i am sure the office of the u.s. trade representative kirk is relying on a rage -- the trade rep is additive is relying on a rage -- range of inputs. wear apparel is the largest expert -- export would be limited. it would send a powerful message that something has to change. host: chris in virginia. good morning. i thank you for your efforts.
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you know, there is this balance of what other alternatives do people in beneficial have as far as employment opportunities and what i hear from you as your striking that balance. there needs to be global trade the let's do this fairly. what alternatives do they have in terms of employment conditions and opportunities what gap is providing versus what other companies are providing? i recognize that focusing your attention on the company's is the right point to affect change especially -- substantive change.
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thank you. guest: you make a critical point. workers don't have many other choices. likeis how companies jcpenney, target and walmart are able to get them to work for $37 a month in unsafe factories. think about the choice the workers faced that morning standing outside the building, knowing it was dangerous, but being told by managers they would be without pay. many of them went into the building because they felt they could not survive if they did not get paid for one month. they lost their lives as a result. those workers are not an imposition on their their own to change that reality. we have an obligation as americans to make sure that we hold accountable retailers based in our country who profited from this -- those conditions. host: how much of the economy comes from exports?
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are fromose to 80% apparel sales. roughly 20% of the economy. a huge chunk of what the country produces. apparel is for all intents and purposes is the only game in town. host: peggy, go ahead. caller: thank you for raising awareness. what i would like to suggest is that you look at your strategy. we have been focusing on the butd of corporate america, it has not been working. why don't we refocus on the people who are buying these products? -- a dress i used to pay $80 for a target, and jcpenney is now $40.
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american buyers know they are paying half of what these debate before -- what they used to pay before. to us know each time you go walmart, target, jcpenney, that you are paying a third of what used to pay before. this is a result -- this is the consequence. thatlonger buy anything does not say made in america,. guest: the caller makes a good point. the consumer needs to be mindful of the low prices they are offered in the stores. the primary was possibility lies with the players in the system that have the most power in resources. that is the major brands and retailers. we are beginning to succeed. we are seeing the majority of retailers in the world, including some u.s. companies, now signing a binding agreement
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that will compel them to adjust this problem, to open these factories up to independent extension -- inspections. pay for renovations necessary to make these factories safe. most factories there did not have proper fire exits. more u.s.d to see brands and retailers join the european counterparts and supplemented the right thing. host: in this morning's "washington post" --
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host: explained to us more about this refusal to let bangladesh join in the monitoring program. guest: it is sponsored by the world bank and the ilo. that program is intended to improve working conditions in garment companies. it has produced mixed results but there is a big program to get -- big push. walmart wants the program because they believe it provides cover. have thisn say, we great program and things are getting better. it is proper and admirable that
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the ilo is refusing to allow bangladesh to enter into this program unless the correct certain items in labor laws. host: anthony in california, independents. if one of the rules and government is a possibility, why doesn't our government respond directly to these companies by sectioning them, giving them -- sanctioning them, maybe even barring them from doing business in the united states? it would send a huge message to anyone out there. is no right now there regulation by the u.s. government of what u.s. based do with their operating overseas. no means tsa
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the abuses they commit in factories. no reason why a company like walmart or gap should be allowed to do things to workers that they could never get away with doing to workers here in the united states. it would be helpful to see the u.s. government stand up and urged the retailers to sign on to this agreement. we haven't heard the executive branch stand out yet -- speak out yet. andave heard from senators others in the senate, but the administration itself so far has been silent. upneed to see them speaking in favor of retailers making the minimum commitment necessary to put an end to these disasters for workers. host: today's washington post article --
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guest: it is important to understand, unless the western brands and retailers are we will -- able to pay more for products, it is very difficult for the government to carry out its regulatory role. the government believes if they were aggressive relators to , theyent costly upgrades believe retailers or respond by shifting production out to pakistan, vietnam, other countries. that is an understandable fear
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we need them to commit they will pay prices. answerll not respond improvements. they will walk away to a less regulated company. >> many universities have licensing agreements companies under which they produce clothing that have a both nike logo is any local -- logos of the universities. those are very valuable. betz's lucrative. it is a moneymaker for the universities. the have applied to labor standards to the contracts that say any factory where this is
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produce must respect the rights of workers. to improvee leverage working conditions that are overseas. them and force those and by identifying a violation and pressuring companies to protect them. scott is calling from oklahoma. was this something that is voted or what? built to this paid in give small businesses in.
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is without a permit on the existing structure. it creates a physical structure and simply its celadon of workers in the building. >> i enjoy your show very much. i have a comment. we do not have any control on their working conditions. our government seems to be sending all of our jobs overseas i do not understand that. ,hey have shipped out of everything from detroit overseas and big trains and ships them.
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i do not understand where doing to our own country. >> when you go shopping for apparel do you look at the labels. >> i do. off the buyed america online. i have looked at things only to have something come to me that says made in china. that bothers me. buying from a site that says american made, you expected to be american made. very important issue. this is not as bad for workers and blankets-and everywhere. if the wall marks and the gap can get away with paying $37 a , what incentive will
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they ever have to pay any worker in more than that? what will they have been other countries stacks' there was a gotible fire in manhattan 147 workers died. and transform this from a dangerous was shot and dished thindustry to this. to leave the united states entry conditions in places like bangladesh. that ability, to what they cannot did at the united states and other countries is what we have to challenge. >> good morning.
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i enjoy c-span. i give the chance to get some ralph factual information. media hasother political diatribe. as far as going in there promoting this, often we cause ,esentment and other countries why don't day promote better union?nd form a just like the people in this century? >> workers in bangladesh of all the time. there is organizers of the time. they're pushing for higher minimum wages and more respect for workers' rights. in most cases where workers
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tried to organize a union the response is to fire them or threaten them if they persist. they threaten the worst of the -- the leveraging the rest of the work force. one was murdered. we believe it was likely by forces within the government in -- in early asian retaliation. they're trying to organize and of unions but they are thwarted by local governments and that is them.eeping >> we have eight tweet. -- a tweet. i am sure if we pay them more they would provide more quality
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clothing. thatere is no question this correlates with higher products. it is important to understand that nothing is free. they are willing to pay a little bit more to factories so that the factories can produce this we will not see change or an end to these deadly tragedy's? tragedies. >> years ago they complained about fair wages and the under.ons they worked it seems as though they have really blossomed. can you explain why china
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blossoms over the years in places like bangladesh do not seem to be able to do the same thing? >> people believe that wages would never rise in china because of the giant surplus. quitehave risen substantially. that is why so much production is shifting some of bangladesh. they want to produce and bangladesh and pakistan in vietnam and cambodia. but by one thing that is important to note, there has been tremendous illegal organizing by workers, spontaneous protesters. it is sure the chinese has made critical decisions that have reduced the pool of labor that had tipped
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the balance between workers and employers. that is not a defense of the chinese government. they have made a conscious decision to ensure that more of the benefits of the production go to workers. the bangladesh government has not made that decision. >> got this from the workers' rights consortium's appeared we want to thank him for being here. >> we want to tell you what is coming up tomorrow. we begin with a discussion of political fallout from the impact on future negotiations over issues like immigration reform. she is the white house and congressional reporter. we'll also be talking with gillian sanchez about the use of

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